What does it mean when a female photographs a male when he is nude? This is a question that Ecuadorean photographer, Daniela Torres, has been exploring for the past four years. Without a doubt, the answer is complex and inextricably entwined within the history of visual representation in which the female naked form has been predominately portrayed from a male perspective, often depicted as the desired object or the idealized embodiment of the essence of nature in nature.
Rather than objectifying, Torres attempts to bridge a real, but more importantly, a psychological space, between herself and her male subjects. In so doing, these intimate portraits convey a respectful union of human souls in spite of the gender difference. The portraits are warm and inclusive, with an almost soft and dreamy aesthetic texture, by virtue of the decision to use the analogue process. Photographed in exterior spaces inside the landscape of sea and trees, and interior spaces, where nature is signified in the form of wallpaper, duvet covers and cut flowers. Her sitters are photographed instinctively, with a sensitive eye, in which the men willfully succumb to a cathartic experience, exposing a strength of vulnerability; far removed from more obvious representations of impervious masculinity. These textured portraits manifest a sense of collaboration in semi-performative situations and combine a determined formality in casual and spontaneous moments.
Featured here, are a few examples from a significant and ongoing collection that will finally take form as a photobook in 2020.